Listening with our heart
Another one of the speakers at the health coaching conference I attended recently, Dr. Carlos Davidovich, talked about what it means to listen on many different levels and its implications for connecting with people.
He talked about our typical forms of listening. Among them are:
- Hearing (basic sound detection, much like any animal)
- Pretending (you know, when we make believe we’re listening when our head is somewhere else)
- Self-biographic (our way of turning someone else’s comment into something about ourselves)
- Selective (we’re notorious for this kind of listening when our loved ones are talking to us)
- Active (when we’re listening so well we can accurately reflect back what we’re hearing)
- Empathic (when we are fully immersed in the conversation and listening with our heart as well as our head).
In actuality, we likely employ each of these types of listening in the course of most days, depending on the situation.
While the latter two forms of listening may seem rare these days, it doesn’t mean we can’t strive to practice them more often in our own lives.
Since we treasure people who give us their undivided attention when we’re talking, it seems only right that we would want to grant the same courtesy to others during our daily encounters.
Can friends, family and colleagues count on your undivided attention when they are talking to you?
Give some thought to ways in which you could be more fully present in conversations with others today.
They will feel appreciated, knowing that you were truly listening when they were speaking. You will feel better too for having given more of yourself to the experience.
“Too often we underestimate the power of a touch, a smile, a kind word, a listening ear, an honest compliment, or the smallest act of caring, all of which have the potential to turn a life around.” – Leo Buscaglia